Relationship In a 3 year long distance relationship with a veteran with PTSD, he is now avoiding coming to see me after 3 years of not seeing each other

Hi All,
New to this forum. I am a female in my 40s, been in a long dstance relationship with a male (40s) in another country who has PTSD from his time in the military 20 years ago.
We have not seen each other for 2 and a half years due to the borders being locked down from covid, now, finally, after all that stress and waiting, he FINALLY got his visa to come see me a month ago (for a short vacation, so we can decide which country to move to, he has not been to my country, I have to his many times)....but since he got his visa granted, he has gotten cold feet...and he ended our relationship yesterday.
We have waited sooooo long to see each other,and now that we finally can, the reality of it all came crashing down on him.....the enormity of moving to another country he doesnt know, I live in a big city, he lives in a small town, he has a cat, he has 1000+ books, all these things he is worried about.....he has a safe, quiet life with no stress where he is. Just the way he wanted, after all the horrors and stresses of war.

Of course the relationship has been stressful due to the external stressors, my border being locked down for 2 years, no end in sight to the pandemic, everything went wrong with him trying to get the visa, so many things went wrong, and finally he got it, now he isnt coming.

I understand the overwhelm he feels, its a big deal moving to another country, especially an unfamiliar one, and a big city. He gets nervous and jittery in his local supermarket that he knows, so how would he deal in an unknown place?

We love each other so very much, we are the love each others lives, this is beyond heartbreaking. We have made plans, talked about our future for almost three years....he said he always tries to stay in the present and not think of the future (which i have read on here is common for people with PTSD?) so he does not stress, i guess, but now that he CAN come here, he started thinking about all the logistics, how risky it was to come here, how because we are both SO stressed all the time, he doesnt want to sign up for a life of stress (and yes i have been very stressed, because i have not been able to see him for so long, and the months went on and on....)...I think the reality of everything we need to go through is too much (we also have to get a partner visa after he has a vacation here, so that can take a year + and he figures that will be another year of waiting and intense stress....we cannot sustain this level of stress anymore....
Most couples would have broken up long ago, long distance is not easy, throw in a pandemic and total uncertainty....but we made it, we still love each other, but now, all this stress, we are both running on empty, my nervous system has not relaxed in forever, i know we both need downtime, space.....but to think he ended it when i have waited almost three years to see him, and now he can come, and isnt.....

He is the love of my life.....I am so lost right now

I would so appreciate any advice, insight from those with PTSD or those partners that have dealt with this kind of thing......much love to you all
 
Is this the first time you will be seeing each other face to face?
No, we spent a few weeks together, and i flew back home the day the world shut down, so we have spent time together. I flew over there about a month after we met online.

Hi All,
New to this forum. I am a female in my 40s, been in a long dstance relationship with a male (40s) in another country who has PTSD from his time in the military 20 years ago.
We have not seen each other for 2 and a half years due to the borders being locked down from covid, now, finally, after all that stress and waiting, he FINALLY got his visa to come see me a month ago (for a short vacation, so we can decide which country to move to, he has not been to my country, I have to his many times)....but since he got his visa granted, he has gotten cold feet...and he ended our relationship yesterday.
We have waited sooooo long to see each other,and now that we finally can, the reality of it all came crashing down on him.....the enormity of moving to another country he doesnt know, I live in a big city, he lives in a small town, he has a cat, he has 1000+ books, all these things he is worried about.....he has a safe, quiet life with no stress where he is. Just the way he wanted, after all the horrors and stresses of war.

Of course the relationship has been stressful due to the external stressors, my border being locked down for 2 years, no end in sight to the pandemic, everything went wrong with him trying to get the visa, so many things went wrong, and finally he got it, now he isnt coming.

I understand the overwhelm he feels, its a big deal moving to another country, especially an unfamiliar one, and a big city. He gets nervous and jittery in his local supermarket that he knows, so how would he deal in an unknown place?

We love each other so very much, we are the love each others lives, this is beyond heartbreaking. We have made plans, talked about our future for almost three years....he said he always tries to stay in the present and not think of the future (which i have read on here is common for people with PTSD?) so he does not stress, i guess, but now that he CAN come here, he started thinking about all the logistics, how risky it was to come here, how because we are both SO stressed all the time, he doesnt want to sign up for a life of stress (and yes i have been very stressed, because i have not been able to see him for so long, and the months went on and on....)...I think the reality of everything we need to go through is too much (we also have to get a partner visa after he has a vacation here, so that can take a year + and he figures that will be another year of waiting and intense stress....we cannot sustain this level of stress anymore....
Most couples would have broken up long ago, long distance is not easy, throw in a pandemic and total uncertainty....but we made it, we still love each other, but now, all this stress, we are both running on empty, my nervous system has not relaxed in forever, i know we both need downtime, space.....but to think he ended it when i have waited almost three years to see him, and now he can come, and isnt.....

He is the love of my life.....I am so lost right now

I would so appreciate any advice, insight from those with PTSD or those partners that have dealt with this kind of thing......much love to you all

ETA:: We have met in person, we met online, then I flew to meet him a month after we met.We spent a few weeks together, i flew home the day the world shut down for covid.
 
Has he cut off all contact? Sounds like he panicked when things got real.
no, it only happened yesterday, and we have talked at length about it all, and have been texting last night and all today, which isnt the best i dea if i need to heal. He is very loving and supportive and compassionate, we are both really suffering. He is absolutely there for me.
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
I understand the overwhelm he feels
Can I just gently suggest that maybe you don't? You obviously can see a number of things that could be making this feel overwhelming from his point of view and it sounds like you appreciate all that as important. That doesn't necessarily mean you understand how he feels. Part of what PTSD means is that often you "feel" things at a different level. Maybe the idea of moving is too big a step right now? Maybe it would be better to just concentrate on having a fun visit, if that's possible, and not put so much pressure on things. If I was in his situation, I'd be worrying about "what if I take this step and it doesn't work out?" among a lot of other things. I also know perfectly well that there's no way I could live in a big city, no matter what. (But that's just me.) Good luck to you both!
 

caroline_13

Confident
Hi All,
New to this forum. I am a female in my 40s, been in a long dstance relationship with a male (40s) in another country who has PTSD from his time in the military 20 years ago.
We have not seen each other for 2 and a half years due to the borders being locked down from covid, now, finally, after all that stress and waiting, he FINALLY got his visa to come see me a month ago (for a short vacation, so we can decide which country to move to, he has not been to my country, I have to his many times)....but since he got his visa granted, he has gotten cold feet...and he ended our relationship yesterday.
We have waited sooooo long to see each other,and now that we finally can, the reality of it all came crashing down on him.....the enormity of moving to another country he doesnt know, I live in a big city, he lives in a small town, he has a cat, he has 1000+ books, all these things he is worried about.....he has a safe, quiet life with no stress where he is. Just the way he wanted, after all the horrors and stresses of war.

Of course the relationship has been stressful due to the external stressors, my border being locked down for 2 years, no end in sight to the pandemic, everything went wrong with him trying to get the visa, so many things went wrong, and finally he got it, now he isnt coming.

I understand the overwhelm he feels, its a big deal moving to another country, especially an unfamiliar one, and a big city. He gets nervous and jittery in his local supermarket that he knows, so how would he deal in an unknown place?

We love each other so very much, we are the love each others lives, this is beyond heartbreaking. We have made plans, talked about our future for almost three years....he said he always tries to stay in the present and not think of the future (which i have read on here is common for people with PTSD?) so he does not stress, i guess, but now that he CAN come here, he started thinking about all the logistics, how risky it was to come here, how because we are both SO stressed all the time, he doesnt want to sign up for a life of stress (and yes i have been very stressed, because i have not been able to see him for so long, and the months went on and on....)...I think the reality of everything we need to go through is too much (we also have to get a partner visa after he has a vacation here, so that can take a year + and he figures that will be another year of waiting and intense stress....we cannot sustain this level of stress anymore....
Most couples would have broken up long ago, long distance is not easy, throw in a pandemic and total uncertainty....but we made it, we still love each other, but now, all this stress, we are both running on empty, my nervous system has not relaxed in forever, i know we both need downtime, space.....but to think he ended it when i have waited almost three years to see him, and now he can come, and isnt.....

He is the love of my life.....I am so lost right now

I would so appreciate any advice, insight from those with PTSD or those partners that have dealt with this kind of thing......much love to you all
It sounds like you relied on each other, or at least you relied on him, to get through the pandemic. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that: ...

Do you want to be with him? Yes, of course.

Can you be happy and thrive without him? What do you want the answer to be to this?
 
M

melody pink

Sadly, sometimes these relationships never come to fruition. You say he leads a safe, quiet life. It’s sounds as if that will no longer be the cause if he moved abroad. It’s hard enough being in a relationship with someone who has PTSD, without all the stress & anxiety that your relationship entails. I wish you the best..:
 
Can I just gently suggest that maybe you don't? You obviously can see a number of things that could be making this feel overwhelming from his point of view and it sounds like you appreciate all that as important. That doesn't necessarily mean you understand how he feels. Part of what PTSD means is that often you "feel" things at a different level. Maybe the idea of moving is too big a step right now? Maybe it would be better to just concentrate on having a fun visit, if that's possible, and not put so much pressure on things. If I was in his situation, I'd be worrying about "what if I take this step and it doesn't work out?" among a lot of other things. I also know perfectly well that there's no way I could live in a big city, no matter what. (But that's just me.) Good luck to you both!
I am very empathic, and feel what others feel, I know how overwhelmed he is, moving IS a huge step, but the trip to come see me is just to visit, for 2-3 weeks, and you are right, he IS afraid he may come here and it wont work out, now he is thinking about all the things that could not work out and what a risk it is, but he now wont even come for the vacation to SEE...i think it is natural to be worried, moving to another country is a big step, but thats life, right? There are no guarantees in life, or any relationship, its like getting married, people getting cold feet, you can always get divorced, move back home....but one needs to take the leap, no? Thank you for your response x oh and we also talked about moving elsewhere, it didnt have to be here, in my city, we were open to moving to a small town on the coast or inland.....
 

Sweetpea76

Moderator
I am very empathic, and feel what others feel

Being empathetic doesn’t mean you understand what is going on in the mind of somebody with a mental illness and trauma history. This goes beyond feelings into symptoms.

.i think it is natural to be worried, moving to another country is a big step, but thats life, right?

PTSD is a broken stress response. They can get overwhelmed brushing their teeth sometimes. It’s not about what he wants, it’s about how his brain is locking down right now. Want has nothing to do with it.
 
Being empathetic doesn’t mean you understand what is going on in the mind of somebody with a mental illness and trauma history. This goes beyond feelings into symptoms.



PTSD is a broken stress response. They can get overwhelmed brushing their teeth sometimes. It’s not about what he wants, it’s about how his brain is locking down right now. Want has nothing to do with it.
sorry if i offended you, I of course am not in anyones head, i just am more attuned, is all, than most.
 
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